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Biochemistry. 2001 Oct 9;40(40):12013-21.

Crystal structure of the Msx-1 homeodomain/DNA complex.

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Michigan State University Chemistry Department, East Lansing Michigan 48824, USA.


The Msx-1 homeodomain protein plays a crucial role in craniofacial, limb, and nervous system development. Homeodomain DNA-binding domains are comprised of 60 amino acids that show a high degree of evolutionary conservation. We have determined the structure of the Msx-1 homeodomain complexed to DNA at 2.2 A resolution. The structure has an unusually well-ordered N-terminal arm with a unique trajectory across the minor groove of the DNA. DNA specificity conferred by bases flanking the core TAAT sequence is explained by well ordered water-mediated interactions at Q50. Most interactions seen at the TAAT sequence are typical of the interactions seen in other homeodomain structures. Comparison of the Msx-1-HD structure to all other high resolution HD-DNA complex structures indicate a remarkably well-conserved sphere of hydration between the DNA and protein in these complexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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